Joy in the Journey: 40 Years in Ministry | Joyce Meyer

so in 1976 you began your ministry right when all of that was happening back then there’s no way you had any idea where God would take it today right but let’s let’s start with what was that seed that began it all for you how how did you know that God had something for you to do that was different than you ever expected you know people ask all the time how do you know when God is calling you to do something and it may sound like a lame answer but you just know I mean you know it’s like God puts such a strong desire in your heart it’s almost like you’re captivated by it and you couldn’t hardly do anything else captivated that’s a good word yeah and I had had a real touch from God and I won’t even go into trying to explain that it’s just you know when you know that God has touched you you know I mean I just I really felt a strong sensing of God’s presence and and I became more interested in the word as a result of that and then the more I listened to the word the more I was amazed at what people are really anointed to teach we’re getting out of the word I had heard the word of course in church but little bits and pieces of it and not in the way that I was hearing it now and probably part of that was just me you know when when God awakens you to his presence then everything begins to be a lot more meaningful to you and I was listening to a what was then a cassette teaching tape and it was 60 minutes long and it was on the scripture and Mark cross over to the other side and I was just amazed that anybody could get a whole hour of teaching out of one verse and keep my interest and it was about when Jesus said to the disciples he gotten the boats that crossed over to the other side and then in the midst of that journey a storm of hurricane proportions arose and it just so related to my everyday life that you know you you start to do something and then you have these storms in life and so often in those storms then we give up so at the end of that teaching I was actually making my bed just doing housework at that point I had three children and and Dave had gone off to work that day worked in in the engineering field and I just sensed God speaking in my heart or putting a desire in my heart you know to teach the word and I felt that this dream came to me that I was going to go all over the world and teach the word which of course was in the natural totally ridiculous and so many times when God does speak something to us or he calls us to do something to the natural mind it is ridiculous but truly with God all things are possible and I’ve actually been meditating even this week on Ephesians 3:20 where that says that God can do exceedingly abundantly above and beyond all that we could ever dare to hope ask or think through his power that works in us and so God does great things but he does them through people he works with people and I had no idea before that of ever teaching the word or doing anything like that and I started a Bible study and that’s kind of the way it began I always like to share with people that you know we did those Bible studies for five years not five minutes or five days or five weeks but five long years of doing that and I studied so hard to teach back then which was right because I really didn’t know anything I hadn’t been to to Bible School I didn’t know anything about preaching nobody’s ever taught me how to put together a sermon I mean I I can truly say that what I’m doing I have been led by the Holy Spirit God really taught you how to do what you’re doing right and then you know as David was saying I started this Bible studying it it first started as a result of the place where I worked and so I invited these twelve ladies that worked for me I was the office manager to come to this Bible study and I didn’t know how to teach the Bible I mean I remember when God put that on my heart I went to my pastor and I said if somebody’s going to teach a Bible study where would they start and what kind of books would you use and he recommended a Thompson chain reference Bible and he recommended starting in the book of John and so those are my tools and that was where I started John chapter 1 verse 1 how many people that are listening right now are exactly where you are they just want to serve God they’re doing that Bible study

faithfully and God honors that yeah and you know somewhere in the midst of that I had quit my full-time job at God’s direction to have time to study to prepare for this ministry that I felt like I was going to have I always had a sensing the ministry was going to be quite large but you never know at that time if that’s just your imagination a pipe dream what you want or if it’s really going to happen however like I said when God does captivate your heart with something it’s it’s almost kind of hard not to believe it you know your mind will tell you that’s crazy or the devil speaking to your mind will tell you that’s crazy but I I wanted to be prepared and I didn’t I wasn’t prepared I didn’t know that much and so I would I would spend a lot of time studying a lot of times studying and I just I usually studied things that I was having problems with and so I really didn’t run out of material because I had a lot of problems you know with a lot of things and that’s why it’s so practical that’s why it applies to people I certainly what what in the natural wouldn’t have seemed like Bible teacher material would I know international you wouldn’t but you always had the gift to teach no no matter what from the very beginning she had the gift to teach and I recognized that and got but God kept her isolated because she was dealing with all these internal problems you know while she was teaching she was learning through the word how to deal with these problems how to grow and deal with these problems and then she was teaching to people the things that she encountered she would teach to the people and you know of course we passed up one of the areas where she taught in short shorts when she first started out smoked all the time we both smoked and finally came to a point you know when we first started for I guess it was maybe the first four weeks or something that and I thought this is not right her teaching and shark sharks and I said I don’t think he should be teaching in short shorts and so anyway we change that I wouldn’t know any better past that point got past that point and they really were wonderful wonderful days for us they were just they were doing some learning days of sharing you know ginger one of the examples that I’ve used in the last couple of years in teaching that I think is a great example is if you think about when you what does it look like when God puts a dream or a vision in your heart whether it’s to minister or buy a new house or to be married or get a certain level of education you you always see the finished product that’s what you see and so you have a tendency to think that you’re just going to move right into that and it comes in pieces and so I’ve used the example of getting like a 5,000 piece puzzle I’ve got this big puzzle I use and it’s got this beautiful picture on the front of it so when you go to buy a puzzle you buy it because you like the picture it’s kind of like having a vision from God right but then when you dump all those pieces out on the table it’s like oh my what in the world have I gotten into and in the process it takes a long time to get all the pieces in the right place and you know sometimes you’ll even try to put a piece in a place where it doesn’t fit and so did you have some of that oh you try sometimes it’s just for so many things you know you feel all these things and sometimes you get ahead of yourself and one of the things that happened during that period of time which was so valuable for the future was we grew in faith in that time because there was $40 short you know each month of paying our bills well whether you’re 40 dollars short or $5,000 short you’re short so you can’t pay your bills unless God miraculously takes care of them and so we learned during that period of time eventually we learned that God was going to take care of it no matter what the situation was and it wasn’t to take for grace that he was going to do that because you always knew that you’re a $40 shirt but you saw him and so it was a working experience of learning that faith that faith in God always he always delivered and everyone came every month the bills were paid yeah which is a foundation of the military today that he taught you don’t know how to handle those finances and and really set up that premise that you’ve never borrowed any money for the ministry that you’ve always paid for what you got and and that says so much about who this ministry is that’s that’s more in the wisdom area that that that area but the faith area was the area that hey we’re short and the only way that’s going to happen is God’s got to come through and we had no way to get it unless God brought it and it was something different I mean sometimes somebody would you know say oh here I felt like I told me to give you $20 or you know maybe a relative would come to visit and stay with us for a week and they’d leave a $50 bill for groceries

after they left our or maybe we’d get a refund on something we weren’t expecting I mean it was just it was really amazing to watch God work during that period of time you know those five years were really foundational and yours and and healing for you too right and healing you know I was going through a lot I mean Dave and I were arguing all the time and you know don’t probably get mad but I got mad all the time and you know just a lot of the stories that I tell that people laughed so hard about now you know and then another very important stage of our journey and I think it is important for people to realize that everything you do including life is a journey and and you have seasons and you have stages of growth and you have dormant seasons and you have planting seasons and you have harvest seasons and you have seasons of digging up fallow ground and so there’s a lot of different seasons in our life we have to learn how to navigate all of those and so one of the seasons that was very very important was that toward the end of this five years first of all we had felt like I felt like at first God wanted us to have another baby and we had at that time three well a ten-year-old a twelve year old and a 14 year old and so obviously our children were old enough then that we could go out and do things we didn’t always have to have a babysitter and I just started getting this real desire to have a baby that’s that are you sure yeah it’s like are you kidding well you know sure you want to start all over and I said yeah I really do and of course you know Dave he’s I got on board he’s easygoing he’s just like okay that’s what you want and sure glad I did too that’s when we had Danny because now he he oversees all this TV in the media and all the operational side of the ministry our other son David oversees all the world missions and so now I think my gosh it’s a good thing I listen to God because I you know we didn’t even we didn’t know really everything that the future held but but it is important to realize that at the time that I started all this I had three teenagers and a baby yeah and so challenging yeah I don’t really care for it when people say well you know I can’t do anything I’ve got kids or you know I’ve got a baby it’s amazing how desire overrides everything else all the impossibility just seem to fade away when you have a strong enough desire to do something and so I felt like that God had put on my heart it was time to stop the Bible study and the word I got was behold I do a new thing well I felt for sure it’s time for my promotion man we’re going to something great it’s going to happen now and so for one year nothing happened and that was a very testing confusing year for me I didn’t understand well what is going on is God finished with me now did I make a mistake in in stopping but so many things we don’t understand until after we’ve walked through them I always like to say that we live life or word but we only understand it backwards and I could look back now and I realized that during that year God really taught me the importance or he started teaching me it’s not that I didn’t have any more to learn about it of just being yourself and I because I was insecure from all the abuse in my life I didn’t like who I was so I was always trying to be somebody else whether it was my pastor’s wife are more like Dave or you know my pastor’s wife was sweet and you know I had this rough exterior and or my neighbor next door was very homemaker you know Sodor families clothes had a garden and so I during that year it was like I tried to have a garden I tried to make my family’s clothes and he’s like I tried all these things is that God was not anointing me far you tried everybody else on I guess he actually did not have the garden I had the garden I dug the girl I wish she probably thought I’d added Tomatoes well I was my garden and she going she was going to can them with her next-door neighbor and that’s the story in itself that was hilarious and and then she did she did so a pair of shorts for me and that was a disaster and a shirt she sewed the shirt inside out or no I him the sleeve as well and it wrong and then the Sharks had pockets longer than the shorts and so so now you’re the one in short choices yeah thank you you’re the one in short shorts I said no I cut the pockets out cut the pockets out I should have kept his shorts I burned him I remember they were gray with dark gray yeah piping around the the edges but the

vaping that’s fancy isn’t it yeah but the whole garden story is hilarious I tell that a lot in in conferences were just when these tomatoes were just ready to pick and can I mean I had all my equipment you know this was this big plan I went out to look at the tomatoes the morning we were going to harvest them and a bunch of black bug said why I don’t know if the bugs were black but the holes were black they had eaten these big holes in the tomatoes and so they were just basically destroyed and so I quick called my neighbor who lived right next door I mean I could have thrown a rock and hit her house and I said oh my gosh our Tomatoes are destroyed bugs got in got in them they got big holes in them and so she went out looked at her and called me back and said there’s nothing wrong with mine they’re totally fine and so of course right away I started complaining to God well you know why did why did my tomatoes get holes in them and her tomatoes are still healthy and I mean honestly I heard God so clearly say I never told you to grow tomatoes therefore I have no obligation to protect your Tomatoes and what a lesson there is in that how many people get so frustrated because they’re trying to do what somebody else does and it works for that somebody else because it’s right for them but it doesn’t work for you and you don’t understand you feel like God is blocking you from success and thankfully he does because we’d spend our lives doing things that’s not what God wants us to do and so during that year of doing nothing I actually was learning the importance of not trying to be everybody else and that was really important for where God wanted to take us because he didn’t he didn’t want us to copy somebody else and go do what they were doing when you begin ministry 1976 and the years too followed what was expected of women then was very different than what God was calling you to do and say I deal with that well I totally when I started it I wasn’t even cognizant of the fact that women didn’t normally do that I mean I was just so caught up and what I felt like God was telling me to do and it was being successful and you know always teasing us say I didn’t know women couldn’t teach till people started telling me that they couldn’t write and so in this church that we were going to they felt like that I wasn’t supposed to be teaching that Dave should be teaching I remember going out of the church one Sunday and the pastor looking at Dave and he said brother you should be teaching that Bible study not your wife and what did you think when he said that I mean how did you well I mean I you know at the same time him Santa time I’m thinking you know that you know why did God not give me the gift waited to give it to her you know and so I’ve got that in me a little bit inside that well I’m gonna do it you know and so I I tried and it didn’t work just I didn’t have the ability to teach and so uh always safer for a couple weeks Dave tried to talk and I tried not to it either one work I wasn’t good at not talking and so we continued to have the Bible study and eventually left that church and went to what they can’t what was Life Christian Center is this still at that point where you’re questioning you know what does God have for me now because you’re you’re in that year where it’s right it’s been quiet I guess where you didn’t know what was coming next I still had a I still felt like God wanted to use me I mean I still felt like I still had this dream I was still studying we were still struggling financially you know I was confused all the things that that people go through and so they asked me if I wanted to start a women’s Bible study at this church and I really didn’t want to start a women’s Bible study because I specifically felt like that God had given me a scripture in Philippians two that I was to hold out to all men the Word of God so I never really felt called just to teach women I really felt like that the same word was for everybody and that I was going to teach everybody not yeah not just women and so at first I wasn’t going to do the Bible study and then I remember thinking well God’s not opening up anything else this has opened up so I probably should take the opportunity and they advertised it a little bit and I mean this was just a miracle from God the first one that we had was on a Thursday morning and what Dave calls a little Church in the valley which it was just a little tiny building Church and a hundred and fifteen people came and it was like where did all these people come from

and it was the start of something pretty major and it was just God it was it was that promotion from God the five years of the Bible study the year of doing nothing and you know those are like hanging on years and holding on years those are times when Jesus has said let’s cross over to the other side and now you’re in the hurricane type storm and it feels to you like Jesus is asleep in the bottom of the boat and you don’t know what’s going on but then you still have this strong thing in your heart during this time I’m still in the engineering field and and they start having lots of meetings at this church and they have camp meetings and week-long you know we are going to church a lot I’m going to work and I’m coming home we’re going to church and going to work coming home going to church and it’s just it’s a continuous thing for a long period of time I want to ask you I want to ask you a question about that too because Joyce talked about God calling her and and her having that strong desire God obviously called you too this is your ministry together how did you begin to see your role in this you’ve been told it should be you and not her how did you begin to see what God really had called you to do in all of this first a first I you know for like I said I fought with it for a little while and then I realized that and God really impressed upon my heart that if you want a you want my joy my peace and my grace then you have to do what I’ve called you to do and so I began to realize that that was not the thing that I would be doing but yet I told the guys in the engineering field that I would not always be here working in an engineering field eventually I was going to be in ministry and I didn’t know exactly what aspect of ministry I was going to be in but I told that and actually when I left when I left the engineering company and began this is further down the road but just to give a little prefix here I the guy said you know how long you you know how long you’ve been saying it and I said no he said seven years I said oh that’s good I said that’s God’s perfect numbers so anyway we’ll go back to this now so so we’re in gret on graboid McKenzie and I don’t know what definitely my definition for the ministry is going to be yeah justo I’m still on the sidelines so speaking and God’s got me there and I know I’m not supposed to be doing anything yet because the ministry our aspect in ministry hadn’t started yet we were still when our income came from Dave you know I was teaching this Bible study but they gave me a very small I don’t know I think I think I initially got like $65 a week you know and so I did that for a long long time and then after a while they asked me if I wanted to come on staff at the church and the Bible study was growing it was like 300 and then 400 450 and it actually got up to about 500 women every Thursday morning so it was you know quite a substantial kind of the talk of the town and Christendom and and there was a real move of the spirit back then too as like people were being touched by God in every denomination I mean we had Catholics Methodists Presbyterians Baptist Pentecostals I mean just all kinds that’s awesome people were coming and they were filtering through the minister did God called her to threw that into the church so it’s hard in the church crunch is helping the church grow the church grew on its own but that was happening because helping I remember we were driving in there for the dedication service of the new building and God spoke to my heart and said I’m finished with you here now right and I thought was that a shock for you were you well I was kind of insulted I thought well you know you’re finished with me I mean I don’t build this wooden I don’t open it I was trying to promote her she was insulted but the thing was it’s so interesting how we are as human beings it’s like I wasn’t satisfied anymore I felt like God was calling me to something else so it’s like I wanted I wanted to do more but I wanted to do it through that Avenue and that just wasn’t going to work you know I mean I remember even going to the pastor saying you know can I go on to the radio station kind of write a book and and you know he was like you know you work for me and you’ve got to be part of this vision and and you know so finally I just so you were on radio at this time one station my church the church put her on radio he was on radio her and the slot next to him opened up and so I think he kind of wanted to keep the whole slot for the church so he asked me if I wanted yet so I was on I started on WC b/w one 15-minute radio slot once a week yeah that was the beginning of my

great media ministry and so then then we God said I’m finished with you here and so I still didn’t get finished for a little while so yeah because she she had soul ties and she really didn’t recognize that it was soul ties until somebody she asked somebody that or somebody informed her that you know what why are you wanting to go back to the church all right so when you say soul ties so like I an emotional connection that she had you know she had like she said she had her own seat her own office her own little plaque like rejoice fire you know in their own parking place and and so that you know and all the people that you worked with there you know that that was you know kind of pulling her back so God was telling us to leave he was telling us but I was you know I was – I was saying you know we can’t go back we’ve got to we’ve got to go do what God just called us to do now because I’m not leaving your comfort zone leaving your security yeah sure exactly that’s what I really felt like that God had it might probably need to back up a little bit you know it was like I kept getting more and more miserable and I was less and less interested in the meetings at the church and the business meetings things I used to love it was like now is just like oh my gosh isn’t that interesting how that changes mm-hmm what we used to love is no longer as important to us because God is taking us no longer image and I didn’t realize what it was but God was withdrawing the grace for me to be there and it was just basically time for me to leave I had done what he wanted me to do there I had learned what he wanted me to learn there and I learned a lot there so I went home and started a fast always joking side decided I was going too fast on water until I heard from God he spoke to me in an hour I sure was glad I mean I heard I actually saw I don’t know how you see words but I mean I I clearly saw that I was to take the ministry and go north south east and west and I got so excited then we began to start meetings in different places like we did we did meetings at south east and west east st Louis South Santa Clara yeah in different days of the week in different weeks of the month you know and it was crazy it was great on first Thursday we were here the second when they were here hours Monday we were here Tuesday we were here Belleville we did Belleville Illinois which was our East meeting we did that every week we went every Tuesday morning every Thursday for years every Wednesday night somewhere else and while we were going and doing these meetings well what the income that came in from those meetings we began to buy I began to buy radios I get you were still working you’re getting ahead of yourself well yeah okay but those meeting ok those meetings lasted for well started started and we had two meetings what and I was I was in the engineering field and then then things started to get pretty overwhelming because for me uh we were we had a few people working for us we had finished the Lord we didn’t even know we finished the lower level of our house off the basement of our house off and we didn’t know that all of a sudden ministry was going to take over our house the lower level rouse but we removed the ministry into what was Danny’s room originally and then it moved into our family room downstairs and family room it and then it moved into our bedroom downstairs the duplicate the location that is over taking you to our bedroom downstairs and during this period of time I’m still in the engineering field and you’re working I’m working on kids yeah I’m running all over the place I’ve gotta bury me I’ve got teenagers I’m coming back home and you know I’m involved but I’m not involved full time and then and then Joyce is saying this is overwhelming I can’t handle this you know and so I finally I told her I’m gonna quit in six months and so finally we got to that six months point and that’s when the guy told me you’ve been saying this for seven years and you’re finally doing it and so is the first day I start in the ministry the first day I say okay what do you want me to do he came downstairs and sat down at his desk and said what do you want me to do and and so we taught him how to do payroll right it’s the first thing I did payroll at first and uh and how many employees did you have at this point Oh maybe five Baruchel and they started helping you with mail and things like that mail and just we have we had a guy that did the radio program and that was in a closet that was actually our son’s bedroom closet where we did our any calls that was your studio that was our studio we had all would come in the calls would come in there yeah and we we had we had phones all over the house and

so I always say it sounded like a bookie joint or something when the phone would ring because it would ring everywhere you know and we had one girl that opened mail and one girl that that duplicated the cassette tapes and I don’t know if they all even worked full-time but they all had their little job choir our employees they parked in different parts of the street you know so it didn’t look so suspicious and they’ve come down with their little brown bags you know lunch bags and come into our house and it’s like people are thinking okay what are you doing over there is parking in the neighborhood later yeah in the neighborhood and coming down and it worked in our house no fruit this is for I don’t know the first time we rented the first time we decided that we were going to go rent some office space I mean that was like a huge or a huge step of faith you know and I mean everything was a huge step of faith when Dave quit his job yeah I mean I still remember he was making thirty two thousand dollars a year or thirty four thirty four thousand dollars a year and so we’re like mean that you can imagine I mean we needed better yeah so God had to do something and and our income increased verse mother coming in from the ministry the first month that amount of money that is miraculous I mean it didn’t all come in but it was like month after month in a year right it came to that and really we just we had a little letter that we sent out once a month you know telling people where we were going to be and you had the income from the teaching tapes and you know what a little bit came in from the radio and you know we were still just barely getting by and I mean some of these people that work for us they made fifty dollars a week and you know 60 dollars a week and he I mean just yeah just barely so then we want to we’re looking for space and so we go to the Biltmore 300 and they’ve got 1,700 square feet of space well for us 1700 square feet of space look like man that looked like a monster’s space and we walked around in that and I said whoa what was Ames to do with this it’s amazing and so we’re starting to do conferences like further out like we go to Quincy Illinois we go to K tirado we go to Kansas City anywhere we could drive we talk on we go up to Mount Vernon any anywhere within a certain radius you know the where we couldn’t didn’t maybe go that far in so and I answered all the mail back then I would sit in my office with a little typewriter and answer all the mail and I would set up all the conferences all the conferences so I was doing the conference’s I was doing for back then I by then I think I the payroll somebody else was doing a payroll yeah I was doing the conference’s and I was buying all the radio time I was contacting all the managers in the beginning stages that was growing there were more right well here we had ones we had meetings of 100 people 70 people 150 people I mean you can look at my journals from back then and I just believe in God that anybody would come and scared out of my wits half the time that nobody would come I mean you talk about a journey of faith in us I mean everything from the finances we needed to the people coming to God providing the employees we needed it was I mean it was just we needed you know we needed to get on radio stations and so the we were under one radio stations w CB W and then we we needed to bio the radio stations and so I bought a pack of six radio stations I didn’t know how good these radio stations were well fortunately a couple of more pretty good the one was the sister state didn’t buy the stations he bought time on this a time on the stations through the station managers well as time went by I began to learn how to research stations and one of the ways that our research stations was I got other ministries that were on radio there magazines and found out what stations they were on and how long they were on them and so I if they were on them in a long period of time I knew they were probably pretty good station yeah that’s right that’s pretty wise yeah and so I started and I got to know all the managers and talk with all the managers and if a station didn’t produce within a certain amount of time then I would after you know in the beginning of stages is very difficult to get on the station because nobody knew Joyce and so I had to send them demo tapes and you know they just put him under desk they wouldn’t play him and it once in a while I’d be able to get on the station well if I got on the station and you know it was great you know the station that I wanted to get on and so eventually it started word got around that she was a good teacher and so it was easier to get on the station so you know then I could call stations and get on them or if he’d say well you know we’re on this station they’re like oh well if you’re on there and so it was easier to get on stations and so so we grew all the way up to 150 stations and you know during that period of time all we did was work we did anything else but work we worked we worked we worked we were out every night doing a meeting somewhere we were trying we were sitting on the office all day and you might wonder where our kids are

at during all this time so just for the sake of people listening I don’t want everybody to think we just abandoned our kids and ignored them you know we we still took good care of our children they were three of them were in high school one of them had graduated and he went off to Bible School in Florida and then he eventually came back to work with us and and we had our little boy who you know we talked about was the baby earlier and he went to school at one of the Christian schools and so I’d get him up in the morning get him take school go pick him up after school do homework go do you know me is the midst of life with all yeah yeah and I doing what everybody does and when when we were traveling we did have somebody that offered to help with our kids but we didn’t travel for long periods of time then we’d go out and come back or be gone two days and come back and then we took him with us a lot as much as we could a lot of our trip for one day we go out we do the meeting when we come back that’s a night he’ll do the meeting that evening and drive back that same night which was long days I mean you’re retired when you got back so is all this is growing and you’re you’re watching God really really feeding this were you always in agreement was it always not necessarily well I would think there would be some yeah big decisions to be made there was there there was but I mean there was a really good flow to it because she did things and the ministry and I did things in the ministry and you know I was I was setting up all the conferences I was all the hotel ballrooms I had to call hotels and make sure that we had ballrooms and a lot of times when you know I mean we couldn’t fly to these places or drive to these places so we’d have to somehow find out what were the best hotels that we couldn’t go see them ahead of time so we know once in a while we’d get a hotel the shingles were falling off or the roofer had some awful place one where the where the air conditioning wasn’t working and a guy was in the middle of the meeting he was climbing up and up climbing up in the ceiling which is about 20 feet high you know trying to fix the air conditioning and one where where it was raining and water was coming down by the curtain where she was teaching it was just a lot of a lot of excitement we had we probably had hundreds and hundreds of meetings that were between 100 and 200 people yeah you know I was so busy teaching and studying to teach that that between that and and I probably dealt with most of the people issues in the office so dealing with all that higher in firing organization that kind of stuff and he was pretty busy with the radio and all the whole gist setting everything the logistics and the the buying all the equipment buying buying everything that we needed yeah everything that we bought over the years everything we bought when I was in charge was I would not allow Department they have a budget because I didn’t want a bunch of bells and whistles I wanted to do I wanted to buy things that we were actually needed and so that we would use the money wise and we saved and paid cash we have requisitions they would present me with requisitions and I would determine do we really need this you know and so during that period of time it kept us you know to where we would not you know waste money and so on you know God really bought well it was smaller he could do that I mean nothing was spent that he didn’t put his initials on it and there was times where I even had to stop spending period because of if it looked like we were getting ahead of ourselves to where we did weren’t gonna have the finances I wasn’t gonna allow that to happen so I would stop spending period for a period of time until we got caught up when did God give you those basic tenets of what the ministry needed to be all about that if you would stay faithful in these areas again the very beginning when when we just after I left my job at Life Christian Center I mean I so clearly remember God put in my heart if you will three things I’m going to tell you and if you do them I’ll be able to bless you keep the strife out of your life which even meant really at home I mean Dave and I early on learned that we couldn’t fight behind the scenes and be having trouble and expect things to be good out in public you know it just doesn’t work I mean your life as a whole and you can’t be one thing here in something else great somewhere else and do what you do with excellence which I it’s interesting that God said that to me because it was not any it wasn’t anything that I’d ever pondered or thought about you know but do what you do with excellence and that’s not extravagance but it does mean to do the best can and everything that you do and then be a person of integrity don’t play

games with the money that passes through your hands and always do what you tell people that you’re going to do and you know those things are not always easy to do you know you have to it it was a good thing that God did speak those to us so clearly because even just keeping the strife out of your life you know sometimes you feel more like arguing than you do have in peace and yet to be faithful to that word that God spoke we knew we needed to stay in peace and and you know the price of it we knew the price of anything like that ain’t it that’s not to say we we did never happen but if it did happen you learned your lesson and you know the consequences of it and you know as especially with Joyce you know when she was teaching she just it would affect the anointing in science could associate you know that could not happen you know well then we have seen so many teachers preachers have integrity issues we see so many people be one thing in the pulpit and another thing somewhere else and and we know that that’s not what God wants for any of us in our lives no matter no matter what we are no matter who who we deal with but those things in your life have really been building blocks or their ministry and so many reasons that God has blessed the way I can honestly say that Dave and I both have a healthy reverential fear of God which is something the Bible says is the beginning of all wisdom I don’t mean like afraid of God in the wrong way but I do know that God is God and that he means what he says and I’m also very aware that everything that we’re doing is totally dependent on God and I mean he could trust me takes a lot longer to build something that it can take to come down if God doesn’t keep we’ve seen them supporting it and come down you know get strong strong grow strong real fast and then fall down yes yeah that’s a lesson in itself I mean that teaches you know you know God’s in control and do things his way and he’ll bless you don’t do things his way and you’re in trouble you’re living dangerously and so and you know I thank God that we grew I didn’t thank God while we were growing so slowly that was very hard but I look back now and I and I I’m thankful that God didn’t let me do what I wanted to when I wanted to do it because although I had a gift I was still very much in need of developing more godly character and that’s where a lot of people do make a mistake they get an opening to go out and do something because they’re gifted and you know as leaders we can even be guilty of putting somebody in a position long before they’re ready for it spiritually and it really is just like a disaster waiting to happen and so it took a long time I mean a long time and a lot of hard work next coming up here pretty soon I will have been teaching the word 40 years so the things we’re talking about happened 40 years ago and 35 years ago and 30 years ago and and it’s just like I mean we could sit here and talk for months and months and months about all the different things that happened and the the challenges and the good times and the scary times and the joyous times and raising kids in the midst of all this and it’s it’s been a been a wonderful journey and yet at the same time a very challenging one I think a lot you know my motto was slow and solid fast and fragile God gave me that years and years ago and I think many people would look at our ministry and say it’s been phenomenally fast growth and it they only see you know the explosive growth of years after we went on television they don’t see the pre years or their foundational years that created the foundation for the ministry to stand on and you know the N if people have been in the year in ministry 40 years and they haven’t had growth like that then it looks like explosive growth and you know God’s got a different plan for everybody and so we were we were black were blessed to be doing what we’re doing and so we don’t take it for granted and one of the things that we said in the very beginning was we don’t want our ministry to be cloned after somebody else’s ministry we want it to be what the Holy Spirit wants us to do we want to follow the lead in the Holy Spirit let us let him show us exactly what we do or supposed to do we didn’t know what all that meant but he did over the years he would show us this show us that show us something else in and all that put together so you’re getting more and more

people at your meetings they’re growing you’re traveling further and further out you’re on radio when did you begin to think television is the next logical step well we’re actually uh we’re on our meetings had grown from 200 to 400 to 500 700 and finally in Tulsa we had a meeting while we’re on radio of a thousand people and I mean that was amazing for us to have a meeting with thousand people we had never had anything like that and during this time we had a broad idea of going on television and we thought we’re going to go on television and so we went on some charter stations and you know at that studio and what we could do it filming and it was a situation where Joyce was going to ask questions and and the flip the first television program was going to be on fear where she was going to ask questions of people actually people from our ministry and they were going to share on you know how they experienced fear and how they dealt with fear well Joyce would ask the questions and then she’d answer the questions and the people just step there they didn’t do not have it I was the very good at interview and so obviously that did not go over big and it was a bright idea what six God’s we got one piece of mail yeah it wasn’t God telling us to go on television we just had a broad idea we don’t do it and obviously it didn’t work well we were probably starting to sense something from God but just got way ahead of the timing definitely got way ahead of timing and then then we’re having our meetings at a place called should two hearts banquet Center in st. Louis and that grew to about 400 people and I’m thinking these meetings are getting big and Joy’s the teachings are tremendous teachings but they’re gone forever if nobody can see them you know they’re getting them on consent and so they’re yeah we were recording you know recording the more we weren’t we didn’t have any video and so I went out and bought a camera I decided I’m going to go out and buy a camera and I spent a pretty good sizable amount of money to buy a camera and usually when we bought something like that Joyce and I discussed it but I thought you know I got to get this camera and so there she was doing something and I needed to get it right away and so I got the camera night old and she said why did you do I got aggravated at night I said why she said why did you do that and I said well I said what you’re teaching is gone forever if we don’t capture it on we didn’t even have anybody to run the camera we didn’t even know we were gonna do with it so we had a camera well we had a camera we had somebody from Life Christian Center came over and I went there to run it Ryland volunteer to ruin and little did I know what God was up to three weeks later I’m in the bathroom getting ready to go to the office and all of a sudden the Lord opens up my heart to sense the hurts of the world I guess the way he was sensed a little bit you know I’m sobbing I’m just just out of out of the blue I had a blue I mean just out of blue I’m getting ready to go to the office and I’m sobbing and I’m thinking and God says I prepared you all this time to go on television and you know it’s like I’m vision and you know he’s speaking to me inside and I’m thinking television there’s no way we can go on television I you know that this cost too much there’s no way we can do that and I see this hand on a spigot and he said if I if I turn this off you can’t even do what you’re doing now but if I turn it up you can do everything that I asked you do it and I’m thinking God’s going to provide for it and so I realized that God’s going to provide for it and so I told she came in the bathroom and I told her I said I need to talk to you and she said can we do this later I need to go to the office I said you know we need to talk now and I said God has told me we need to go on television we need to do it and she bore witness I share with her everything that happened to me and so that’s when we decided we’re going to go on television and and she she bought with witness with it and you know we didn’t we didn’t know how we’re going to get the money so we decided well we’re going to send out we had a mailing list of 70,000 people that at that time and we we thought well we will send out to our mailing list we figured we need we’d need a half a million dollars to start that’s the only way we could start because we needed to build a studio we needed to you know do different things and we need to have another camera and so we sent out to our mailing list and exactly a million a half million dollars came in and so you know we didn’t even know we needed a producer at that time we have we were so ignorant of what we were supposed to do and how we were supposed to do it but God let us step-by-step introduced us to people and you know finally we learned you know we need a producer we learned we need to do this we need to do this and the first television program that we filmed it was so primitive that you think how in the world would anybody even watch this because it looked like we had a shot well it was a shower curtain but a

shower curtain behind Joyce we’re in this room where they had sprayed insulation and it was falling off the ceiling the sprayed insulation hanging down and falling off the one camera one camera and we shot this we bought we bought ten stations and we decide to go on weekly at first that’s the only thing we could afford so we decided to go in weekly and we did that for about six months and we thought it’s doing good it’s doing all right and I I said well why don’t we go on I want we go on daily on some of these stations so we we said okay we’re going to go on daily on some of these stations so we did and what we did that it had just exploded and with within a month or two months every station that we went on paid for itself and was was surplus so we could go on more stations and we were just buying up time like crazy and going on stations and the mail in the the response was overwhelming and so this this was the beginning of the television ministry and it was it was just beyond anything we could ever expect up to today where you’re reaching yeah to some thirds of the world so many potential people and and we hear stories every day of people whose lives have been completely turned around hearing his word through your teaching when you look at those forty years that are behind you and and what you’re seeing today just the gratitude just overflow do you just feel overwhelmed sometimes he actually isolates us from seeing the greatness of the ministry yeah he and we’re thankful for that because we don’t we don’t need to hear all how great we are or anything because we know it’s God in right it’s His grace that has really given us the ability to it not only to to do what we’re doing but also to not be whore your trowel or haughty or proud or think that we’ve done anything because we know it’s it’s everything by him and he started at all and he can stop it instantly if he wants to and so we’re basically keeping in our pedal-to-the-metal as long as he wants us to and while we’re in this world because this is just a temporary situation and we want to take as many with us as we can I actually feel like sometimes this may sound odd but I almost feel like I’m two different people you know like I’m Joyce Meyer and then I’m Joyce Meyer and I mean you actually almost it just takes so much grace to do that much work that it’s like it’s almost not like you doing I mean you are doing it but God is so involved that you’re so aware that if it wasn’t him but there’s no way that you could ever pull it off I mean like I said you know I’m getting tired just listening to us tell everything that we did and I mean there’s no way to describe how hard we worked the things we went through in the midst of that I had breast cancer had never breast removed I had a hysterectomy I couldn’t take hormones because of having had the cancer I went through the change of life early I had migraine headaches for 10 years we’re raising kids we’re raising teenagers we’re going through all the same stuff that everybody else goes through with their kids you know we had kids getting married plus whatever plus we’re hiring 110 people each year plus were building a building or building a building that the building that we’re building you know in the process of designing the building I I wanted to build so much the building so big and then I was going to structurally I was getting making it so I could add a floor onto it and spread the wings out on it and we’re into we’re into the plans almost done with the plans and I realized we’re growing so fast we’ve got them we’ve got to build a whole building so we scrapped the plans and we redraw the plans to do the whole building at one time we were going to build 75,000 square foot we end up build 150,000 square foot at one time right off the bat that’s a little far away from the 1,700 square feet we were afraid the rent yeah how will you fill all that space that we didn’t know how we’re going to fill it all up and Dave did all that building stuff you know from working in the engineering field he was good at all that and I really didn’t I mean I didn’t get involved really in any of that because I was just running all over creation teaching of course he went to everything you know that we did and I just I had this growing desire in me to help people help people help people help people help people and so in addition to all the television way way back like in the very beginning like 30 years ago we started setting aside money to help the poor with God put that in our heart and so we started even right here in our own city help him do inner city ministry and contributing to other people that had

inner city ministries too you know and then we started different missions and got involved with different missionaries and we would support different people that had different works around the world and so now you know we’re involved in I don’t know probably 150 nations and I don’t even know how many different out reaches with orphanages and feeding programs and yeah water wells and schools it’s such an integral part of the ministry well it’s very very important I mean other than my teaching that’s probably the most important thing to me is just being able to to help people you know Jesus always he always taught the word and he helped hurting people and so you help people with the word but you also need to help them in a practical way like I say a lot of times many people are hurting so bad that they couldn’t even hear the word if you didn’t help them first with their practical situation and you know it’s been our great privilege to do what we’re doing I thank God that very few days go by that I don’t thank God for letting me teach the word and yes it’s been a lot of hard work and probably one to give up a million times in the process and you know when you’re in the public eye like we are you you get judged you get criticized you have you know people that aren’t so kind but in them even with all that we’ve met so many amazingly wonderful people whose lives have been changed by the word that you know the few who caused you problems are really nothing compared to all the ones that that you get to help and so you know our desire is is to continue doing what we’re doing in some form or fashion until Jesus takes us home people ask all the time are you thinking about retiring or what are you going to retire and I don’t know how you retire from a call on your life it’s not like not like having a job and so now at certain age you retire I mean I just want to do I mean we have to make changes we have to keep making adjustments you know can’t work as hard as we used to don’t don’t need to don’t want to always say I don’t work harder I work smarter and of course you know in the myths I’ve written 100 and probably 15 books now and so that was another homework project that was going on in the midst of all these other things is writing all these books and you know I really want to leave a hundred big solid books as a legacy to the body of Christ and so we’re still working on them and hopefully out of all the ones that we have we can the very best will remain because a lot of the books that I read now are two and three hundred years old and they’ve just helped me tremendously so I hope a long time after I’m gone if Jesus Terry’s that people still be continuing to to read my books you do have a lot more time ahead of you who knows where God is going to take all this yeah I don’t I’m not quitting or slowing down you know yeah we’re we’re still running full throttle we’re you know like Joe says we’re not working harder but smarter and you learn over a period of time what’s the best way to do things to accomplish the most well it really is that authenticity I think that so many people are drawn to and in the two of you and and in the ministry because I mean hanging out with both of you is just like hanging out with Lucy and Desi and you’re hilarious for one thing you’re just you’re just yourselves you’re very real and you just have a lot of fun in what you do you guys have a great time we do yeah we’ve got our own little you know after almost forty nine years of marriage you develop your own little method of a little quirky mother working old methods of getting along and I tell people all the time I don’t know what I preach if I wasn’t married today because he gives me an opportunity to apply every message that I’ve ever preached and it’s amazing the things that people fight about when they’re young that you laugh about yeah when you when you get older but I do know that it’s very important that we remember where we came from and that it is God doing this I’m very you know obviously we work hard and we’re partners with God and I do believe that a lot of people get themselves in trouble because the more successful they become the more they begin to take liberties that they have no business taking and one of the things that God has taught me over the years it is extremely important to him as how we treat people and I know that I fail miserably at times and always treating people the way that I should but I just think that that really supports the anointing on your life I think if you if God anoints you to do something if you want to maintain that anointing you need that to keep the strife out of your life to be excellent to walk with integrity and you really need to to walk in love and treat people properly it’s a big part of your legacy

I mean it really is what I know sure both of you want to leave behind you mentioned the books leaving that teaching um what else is important to you that you’re building now that you want to leave behind for generations to come well you know people always always always ask me well what’s your vision now you know and I think that I’m one of the blessed people that can say I’m actually I am actually doing what God put in my heart I feel like that I’m the vision that he gave me is being fulfilled every single day and I really just want to help more and more people I really want people to always say I want Jesus to be famous not that he’s not but I want to do my part too yeah make him more famous and it’s just so important that we represent him right out in the world and to teach people how to do that consistency being a Christian is about so much more than just going to church somewhere on a Sunday morning and then going home and perhaps acting like everybody else out in the world we do need to realize that we’re in the world but not of it and that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy the world and have fun but there has to be some sort of a separation between God’s people and and people in the world we can’t just blend in and and act like everybody else so I love teaching people things about spiritual maturity I love to teach them that God loves them and about the grace of God and the mercy of God and all those things but I’ve always had a bent in my teaching towards spiritual maturity and growing up and it’s just really important to me that I always have a word from God for the place that I’m at I don’t ever just go take a message out of a drawer and go somewhere and teach I still study really hard for for what I’m doing and so I just want to keep helping people I just want to keep doing more and more of of what I’m doing where our program is aired now in about 85 different languages and and our son just told us the other day that within another year it’s going to be pressing 100 and our books are translated in over a hundred languages and so I’m thrilled about what I see but I’m even more thrilled about what I don’t see which is more than what I do see and like Dave said you know God God gives us enough to keep us encouraged but not so much that we get full of ourselves and that’s that’s a dangerous thing you know we have to really keep in mind that God doesn’t share his glory with anybody and he’ll let us work with him and partner with him but God does get all the glory another thing I think is that we enjoy the ministry in doing ministry we enjoy our private life we enjoy each other and we enjoy our children every facet of our life we enjoy and I think that gives you a balance of life you know to be able to do that not just to yeah some people are just stuck in maybe what they do and not the other facets of their life and each part of our life is important and if they can enjoy each part of their life and enjoy each other especially when when people are married I mean if they can enjoy each other and allow each other to be themselves you know not not try and make them something that they don’t need to be or you want them to be but along the beat m7i both have a lot of joy in our relationship you know he I’m not a sports person he goes to a lot of sporting events he plays a lot of golf you know he lets me do the things that that I enjoy you know sometimes I want to go off somewhere for a week or two by myself just to study and pray and just you know sometimes just be by myself because I am around a lot of people all the time and he’s fine with that he’s not the least bit insecure and there’s nothing really that we want we have 11 grandchildren two great-grandchildren four wonderful children two great son-in-law to daughter-in-laws and each other and we’re just pretty happy and content they’re very blessed you obviously worked hard god blessed abundantly but you had a lot of people behind you also building this ministry let’s talk a little bit about the the partners role that they have had in all of this as well how important is that it wouldn’t have happened otherwise well you can’t you know Joyce Meyer ministries my name gets to be on it but I have my part I do the teaching the writing the preaching some management stuff not even as much of that now as I used to but we’ve got wonderful leaders in the ministry we’ve got our sons who work very hard in the ministry both of our son and laws work in the ministry and they do a phenomenal job I mean really our two sons David and Danny pretty much run all the day-to-day stuff now which is so different than the way

it was thirty even 20 years ago when we were so involved but then we have our ministry partners who financially support the ministry and every one of them is very important whether they give a small amount every month or our large amount every month and we need them we’re all partners together and doing everything that we do and and a partner is someone who is part of and you know also you’re a part all these people that they can’t see right now that are running all this equipment that’s putting this together they’re all apart you know all the people who answer the phones are apart we’ve got offices in about 15 different countries and they’re all apart everybody is a part of doing so really I mean when you think about it how could it possibly be anything other than God how could you how could you keep something like this up and running you know the Bible says that that God maintains the whole earth so when you think about he keeps everything balanced you know and we’re just one ministry but God still has to hold us up and keep everything going or it just it just wouldn’t work and so I were very consciously aware of that appreciate all the partners we have whether it’s somebody who works for us or somebody’s support or somebody prays for us or whatever they do we’re all part of it each speech person is an integral part of the ministry uh for the ministry to be as huge as it is the day and is doing doing all the things that is doing with a course without the partners it would be a very small ministry it would not go very far the partners actually project the ministry throughout the world throughout the United States and throughout the world without them the ministry could would be you know with us just doing meetings and going places and you know made doing conferences are selling even some products we might do 15% of what we’re doing today but the partners that actually project it to the ends of the earth and the more partners we have the more we can do and I pray for that all the time because there are so many people in the world that are hurting oh my gosh our society is so messed up and it’s not just it’s not just in America it’s basically everywhere and we really we need to all bond together and to use the time that we have to really try to help as many people as we possibly can I mean people are there’s so much deception and so many false religions and and so many people that think they’ve tried God and he hasn’t helped them and really they’ve just tried some form of religion that really hasn’t brought life to them and so the the word that we’re being able to get out through radio through satellite through television through printed material is we’re just all very privileged to be part of this and when I think about the things that we could be doing and this is what we get to do it’s it’s pretty amazing and it is hard work but it’s rewarding hard work and so I’m anxious to see what all God does the future I want to see more miracles and signs and wonders and miraculous things take place and I’m pleased to be part of whatever God wants to do